A demolition squad on Friday left occupants of a building with 40 flats homeless after yet another drive in New Palam Vihar.
"The apartments were constructed without a layout plan," said Dilbag Singh, district town planner (enforcement) and the officer-in-charge, stating he had permission from Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena to demolish the structure.
However, amid the tussle between builders and the district town planning department (DTP), it was the residents who bore the brunt.
The DTP enforcement wing claimed that it had warned and served a notice to the Sri Shayam Group Housing Society (owned by a group of builders) who had built the structure several times in the past three years. As the administration dismantled window panes, balconies and walls, onlookers and the occupants themselves were left speechless.
Amid all the action, an elderly woman occupant of the building lost consciousness and was later taken to a nearby hospital. Several other women and their families tried to persuade the officials and the police to suspend the drive, but all attempts failed.
"What was my fault? We bought a small two-room flat and started living here only six months ago," cried the woman.
The four-storey building had 40 flats, including one, two and three bedroom sets.
"I was not aware that the building was illegal. I bought a one-bedroom flat from the builder last June and now I am helplessly watching its destruction," said Suresh Kumar, another occupant.
The apartments were built on a 1,000-square-yard plot that was sold in the early 1990s and was registered. It was the building layout plan that was not sanctioned, said the official.